MEMPHIS - The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees Thursday approved a

major reorganization of UT and endorsed a plan to improve quality in all

areas of the institution over the next seven years.

The board approved a resolution that reduces the number of campuses from

four to three by combining the main campus at Knoxville with the medical

center at Memphis and the Space Institute in Tullahoma. Several

administrative positions, including those of chancellor at Knoxville and

Memphis, were eliminated.

The flagship institution will have the name University of Tennessee. Other

UT campuses are at Chattanooga and Martin. The resolution creates for the

Chattanooga and Martin campuses liaison committees of trustees, community

representatives, the UT president and the board's vice chairman.

Thursday's action affirms UT President Wade Gilley's first phase of

reorganizing the university's administration, announced in December. The

board's resolution also gives the administration authority to proceed with

the next phase of streamlining.

A report from the Streamlining Committee estimates administrative costs can

be cut by $40 million in five years.

Gilley told the board that UT should move into the top 25 in graduation

rates, increase to 300 the number of National Merit Scholars enrolled and

improve faculty salaries.

He outlined his Tennessee Plan for Academic Excellence that would provide

$150 million in private funds, administrative cost savings and private

dollars to enhance academic and research programs. Money from the fund

would also be used to attract the state's top students and retain and

recruit outstanding faculty.

UT's national profile will be higher as it strives to become one of the top

25 public research universities in America, he said.

Douglas Olesen, chief executive officer of Battelle Memorial Institute who

chaired the Committee on the Future of UT, told the board a top-tier public

research university is vital to a state's economy. The Committee on the

Future report said UT must reinvigorate its research program.

The streamlining group recommended and the board approved changes not

previously announced by Gilley. Jack Williams, vice president for alumni

affairs and development, will become vice president for advancement and

assume responsibility for the Office of University Relations as well as

development and alumni.

Sammie Lynn Puett's title changes from vice president for public service,

continuing education and university relations to vice president for public

service. Continuing education moves to the campus academic affairs


It was announced in December that John Peters, provost at Knoxville, would

become senior vice president for academic affairs and chief operating

officer as well as provost in Knoxville. Dwayne McCay, former vice

president of the UT Space Institute, became vice president for research and

information technology.

Bill Rice, Memphis chancellor and vice president for health affairs,

retains his vice president's title as head of Memphis units.